2014 has seen tremendous growth of thePTDC in the number of readers. Since this sites inception in 2011 growth has been linear. What was new in 2014 was the sheer amount of success stories. Newer trainers that started reading the site, subscribing to the newsletter, and investing in our products early on have now become successful, stable trainers and that's most important to me and a trend I hope continues.

With the onslaught of information I believe that the era of the coach is among us. In no other time is a trainer more important but please understand that your role has fundamentally changed.

No longer are you required to provide information. For better or for worse information is abundant and it has largely lost its value. What's required of you is to be the one who sifts through information, concentrates it, and makes it easy to digest, apply, and, in the case of fitness instruction, adhere to.

So while some are worried that training numbers will go down with the advent of new media and the "freemium" economy, I believe the opposite is true. I believe that there's no better time to be a trainer, that is, as long as you're a great coach.

Below are the ten articles that have been selected as the best of 2014 in no particular order. Take some time over the holiday to read these. Of course I also suggest going through the site's archive. Perhaps I'm bias, but everything that we publish I'd mark a "must-read".

Happy holidays and get some rest. January's coming soon.

- Coach Jon

The 10 Best Articles of 2014

1. It's Time to Finally Convince Your Clients That the Scale Doesn't Matter - Tim Berzins

By now we all know that muscle weighs more than fat and that the scale can be deceiving. But there are other factors that can cause day-to-day fluctuations in weight like sodium, creatine levels, cortisol, etc. After describing the variables Tim gives step-by-step instructions on how to communicate to a client that the scale isn't the end all and even provides some free software recommendations to help clients track weight the right way.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/07/scale-doesnt-matter/


2. Influence Expert Reveals the Best Way to Approach Clients on the Floor - Sharí Alexander

In the only article on this list written by a non-trainer, Sharí breaks down how to approach, build a relationship with, and convert a lead to a client on the floor better than I've ever seen before. It is a long-term, high-integrity approach and one that, if you do it right, will result in you becoming the most popular trainer in your gym and a turn-key business for you. This is powerful stuff and one of my favorite articles of all time.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/05/influence-expert-teaches-best-way-approach-clients-floor/


3. 55 Reasons Why the Deadlift is the Best Exercise of All Time - Dean Somerset

Dean has this way of meshing humor with smarts that makes academics jealous. You'll be nodding your head, laugh a lot, and learn a lot in this one. There's also a full video tutorial at the end.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/02/deadlift-exercise/


4. Tracking Personal Training Clients - Jonathan Goodman

In this stupidly simple system you'll see how I used to keep track of all of the little details about my clients. I share a template of the worksheet that I developed that's already being used by thousands of trainers around the World to build better relationships with their clients and create better retention. I credit this system for a lot of my success.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/01/tracking-personal-training-clients/


5. How to Analyze Fitness Research - Jonathan Fass

There's more information being spewed out than ever before. As a coach your job is to make sense of it all. It's paramount that you are able to critically analyze claims. Not doing so can result in distrust by your client, you looking stupid, or worse yet, injuring or hurting somebody. I made this into an Ebook for you to download. It'll take you some time to go through but is worth it. Grab some cocoa and enjoy.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/06/analyze-fitness-research/


6. Screening the Squat - Justin Kompf

The squat is arguably the most important exercise but it can also be a complicated movement to teach and, if done improperly, can be dangerous for the client. In this thorough piece Justin gives a breakdown of what can go wrong with the squat and what you can do about it.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/07/screening-squat/


7. The Real Reason That You Still have Back Pain (and What to Do About it) - Armi Legge

Back pain is the most prevalent chronic issue that your clients will present with. It's also a bit of an enigma. Read this article to understand the condition better and learn why "much of pain is actually in the brain". If you can help a client with back pain when they've "tried everything" you've got a client for life.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/05/still-have-back-pain/


8. 15 Common Mobility Mistakes - Eric Cressey

It's become common practice to stretch clients but the reality is that not all clients need a stretch. In fact, as you'll learn in Eric's article, some clients may suffer from it. In this article you'll not only learn when to avoid mobility, you'll learn when to do it and how to complement it.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/04/15-common-mobility-mistakes/


9. How Much Should You Charge for Personal Training? - Brett Jarman

Talking money with a client can be the source of a lot of anxiety. As Brett explains, you may be thinking "how much can I get away with?" The Typically trainer response is to compare yourself to other trainers but that's a flawed model. Learn about the 3 principles of pricing in this fantastic piece.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/01/how-much-should-you-charge-for-personal-training/


10. A Simple System to Build Better Programs for Any Client - Greg Nuckols

Most trainers are taught that periodized programs are better but this flies in the face of many realities of personal training. Clients cancel; they get sick; they go on holiday; and so on. In this piece you'll learn how to apply a concept called daily undulating periodization to build fantastic programs for your clients every time.

Read it here: www.theptdc.com/2014/06/build-better-personal-training-programs/


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